Waiting

It was Christmas time. My mother was in Toronto, visiting me. She was onlytime here a day or two when the call came. My grandmother had pneumonia, bacterial, and the prognosis wasn’t good.

My mother and I left for Montreal immediately, going directly to the nursing home when we arrived.

And there we stayed, all of us, me, my mother and both my aunts sitting there, in her room. Listening. A ragged breath, a beep from the monitor, a ragged breath, a beep Continue reading

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Back in the saddle again …

Well, not literally. I’m talking about the book I’ve been writing on and, more specifically, off for the lastmoleskin nine years.

When my mother was ailing I was struck with an idea for a book about her and me. I tucked it away in the back of my mind for later. I said nothing to anyone until the day after she died, when my closest friend and I were headed back to Montreal for the funeral.

As the words literally started pouring out of my mouth, my friend handed me some paper and a pen and I spent the rest of the trip writing. This
went on for the next three months. It was amazing, the book was literally writing itself.

Seven chapters in, I hit the wall. No, not writer’s block. I’d been Continue reading

Blog tour: The writing process

Pete Armetta is a writer whose work I love. I love his thoughts and I love how he expresses them, whether it’s through poetry, short stories, essays or writingquillfiction. Yes, he is that versatile, that able, that talented. I ‘met’ him here, on WordPress; and from the very first moment I read one of his posts I became a fan. And a follower.

Here’s your chance to do the same.

A couple of nights ago he invited me to participate in The Writing Process blog tour. He’d been invited by a friend and fellow blogger. Read what he shared, with just one click.

Some info I knew, some I didn’t. But none of it surprised me. Because along with being a terrific writer, he is committed and passionate and determined.

The Writing Process:

1. What are you working on?

A bit of background, first. My mother used to tell me as far back as when I was 11 or 12 years old, I routinely re-wrote (and re-thought) ads I saw in magazines. So I suppose it wasn’t ‘news’ when I told my parents, at age 15, I wanted to work in advertising.

And it is what I ended up doing. First as a copywriter, then as a creative director — for the Montreal and Toronto offices of some of the world’s biggest

Continue reading

Day 221. A Void

I realized something this morning.  But I have no idea what prompted the thought.  From the day I first learned to read, there’s never been a day when I haven’t had bookmy nose buried in a book.

Until recently.

Honestly, I don’t remember when the last time was, I curled up with a good book.  And got so involved in the story, I lost track of time.  Not wanting to put the book down, even for a minute, to go to the bathroom.

Or talk on the phone.  Or make a cup of tea.  Or have a snack.  Or eat dinner.  Or go to sleep.

My life has been filled with books I loved so much, I’d have to read them, cover to cover, in a day.  And all night, if necessary.  There have been hundreds of all-nighters, during my lifetime.

Always, dreading the end, actually.  Wanting them never to end.  The books, not the nights. Continue reading

Day 125. Opening Up

Little did I know, when I first started this blog, what it would come to mean to me.  What it would do for me.  How it would help me, as a writer.  But while I was sharing2having my morning coffee a couple of days ago, I had an epiphany.  I’ll tell you about it in a minute.  First, a quick story.

I’m writing a book.  It’s about my mother, at a time when her health was declining; and she needed my help.  About a year ago I was having lunch with a fellow writer.  One thing led to another.  I won’t bore you with all the details, but she highly recommended her editor.

At the time I was at the half way point. It was a draft, not yet polished.  Still, the editor suggested I send her twenty-five pages.  When she got back to me, she insisted I wasn’t being honest.  “Where’s the resentment?” she asked.  “Don’t tell me you weren’t angry with your mother”. Truth is, I wasn’t.

If she’d asked for more pages she would have found out what had upset me.  There were feelings I shared.  Just not the ones she wanted me to feel.  Turned out she hated her mother; and projected her own feelings on to me.  Clearly we weren’t a good fit.

Since then I’ve done more work on my book.  A few months ago I had a breakthrough.  Important enough to stop writing and Continue reading